How Do You Know If Your Serpentine Belt Is Going Bad?

Can a bad serpentine belt cause check engine light?

A loose or worn belt will cause ticking or rattling noises, poor engine performance and overheating, usually triggering the check engine light.

If the timing belt breaks, the engine can’t run — and on some engines that break can cause internal damage..

Why would a serpentine belt break?

Serpentine belt problems usually result from one of three causes: a defective belt tensioner; misalignment of a pulley; or, defective bearings in the tensioner, idler, or one of accessories driven by the belt (including the water pump). … Excessive cracking: Other than severe old age, defective tensioner.

How often do serpentine belts break?

Most serpentine belts generally last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles. Eventually, your car’s serpentine belt will wear down from continuous exposure to heat and friction and will need to be replaced.

How do you know when to replace the serpentine belt?

Cracks and wear on the belt It is a good idea to physically inspect your serpentine belt from time to time. Check for cracks, chunks missing, abrasions, rib separation, uneven rib wear, and damaged ribs. If you notice any of these, it is time to replace your serpentine/drive belt.

What is the average life of a serpentine belt?

With that being said most serpentine/drive belts can last for a very long time before they need to be replaced. The lifespan of the belt will depend mostly on the type of material it’s made of. Older style belts generally last about 50,000 miles, while those made from EPDM can last up to 100,000 miles.

Do serpentine belts break?

Your serpentine belt is not likely to break. But if it does, the results could be serious. … The serpentine belt may not be prone to breaking, but it does wear out over time. When a serpentine belt wears – or if the belt becomes damaged or contaminated – the engine accessories may not be able to spin at the proper speed.

Will AAA replace a serpentine belt?

For a little extra peace of mind, consider signing up for AAA Roadside Assistance. If you should find yourself on the roadside with a failed serpentine belt, flat tire or other vehicle emergency, our skilled problem solvers are available 24/7 to provide help at your location.

What damage can a broken serpentine belt cause?

This can lead to a sudden lost of power assist for the steering system, leading to the steering wheel all-of-a-sudden becoming very hard to turn. A broken serpentine belt may stop the water pump from circulating coolant through the cooling system, causing the engine can overheat.

Can you replace a serpentine belt yourself?

Serpentine belt replacement is easy because today’s automatic drive belt tensioners eliminate the need to loosen bolts or pry components into position for retensioning. Just rotate the tensioner, remove the old belt and install a new one.

What happens if a belt breaks while driving?

If a timing belt breaks, the engine will no longer work. If a timing belt breaks while driving in an interference engine, the camshaft stops turning leaving some of the engine valves in the open position. The heavier crankshaft will continue rotating by inertia, moving pistons up and down.

Will a new serpentine belt improve performance?

If your old belt was glazed and slipping, then yes. The new belt does not slip therefore everything is turning and generating at full capacity, hence the improvement you see. Not really. All of your accessories(power steering, air-conditioning, etc.)

Can I drive with a bad serpentine belt?

This is all because many cars have one serpentine belt that drives the water pump, the power steering pump, the alternator and the air conditioning compressor, and the fan. … It is best to not drive a car with a broken belt, even for a short distance.

How far can you drive with a broken serpentine belt?

Like I mentioned previously without a serpentine belt to power the accessories of your car the car will start but you won’t be able to drive it that far. I’ve luckily never had this happen to me but I’d estimate that you would be able to drive for a few miles (3-5) before your car’s engine will start to overheat.

Is a serpentine belt the same as a timing belt?

When you pop the hood to check out your engine block, you should be able to see the serpentine belt, a thin, rubber belt that winds around several components in your engine, like a snake (hence ‘serpentine’). On the other hand, timing belts are deeper in the engine block and can’t be seen from the outside.

What happens when serpentine belt goes bad?

If a serpentine belt is broken, it can lead to a sudden loss of power assist for the steering system. … This happens because the serpentine belt keeps the water pump circulating coolant, also known as antifreeze, through the cooling system. This means that the engine can overheat anywhere, including the highway.

How much does it cost to replace a serpentine belt?

It is very inexpensive to replace a serpentine belt whether it’s broken or loose. The replacement cost is only going to be between $100 and $200 in most cases. The belt itself will cost between $25 and $80 while the labor costs will probably be between $75 and $120.

How do I know if my belt tensioner needs replacing?

Some of the more common symptoms of a failing or bad belt tensioner include the following.Squeaking or Grinding Noise. … Unusual Belt Wear. … Failure of the Belt-driven Accessories to Operate. … Bleeding Rust and Presence of Cracks. … Excessive Wear of Pulley Bearing. … Visible Signs of Pulley Wear.More items…•